Michel Gondry as Sleep Sclentist (10/29/06)

The photo by Etienne George is from The Science of Sleep.  Here’s the  poster .

Barry and I went to the Grandin to take in the 3:20 matinee of   “The Science of Sleep.” Michel Gondry sets his quixotic romance inside the brain of Stephane Miroux played by Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, whom you may have seen in Y Tu Madre Tambien or as the young Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries.
 
Asleep, Stephane expounds on “The Science of Sleep, on  “Stephane TV”  in front of cardboard cameras.  One principle is “Parallel Synchronized Randomness,” a rare phenomenon where two people who have the same thought pattern will find each other. 

In“real life, Stephane arrived in Paris from Mexico  after the death of his father to take a job secured by his mother  at a a calendar company.  While he has been promised a job as illustrator and bought along his portfolio of a different disaster for each /month, he finds himself pasting up the names of companies to insert in pre-made promotional calendars.  He becomes smitten with with Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg of 21 Grams), the girl in the apartment across the hall, but lacks confidence to pursue her, except in his dreams, which bleed over into his life.   

This is the first full-length feature that  Gondry has both written and directed.  He  partnered on his first films, Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with writer Charlie Kaufman.  Before that he directed videos for Bjork, Levis and others.  In an interview in the press packet, he says,

One of the reasons I really wanted to do “The Science of Sleep” was not to have to question my ideas on an intellectual level.  When I work with other people, I have to use words.  It’s more limiting to the process to have to convey my ideas that way.  If you want to create something, hoping it will go beyond yourself, you can’t question every step of the process. It may seem contradictory, but the fact that I’m the only one to make the decisions allows me to have less control of things. I want my instinct to be more in control and my intellect to be less in control, allowing me to have ideas, images, and concepts without having to justify why.

Interestesting, he shot the animation before the scenes with the actors.  There’s a full-length interviw, “What Dreams May Come” in the July-august issue of Res Magazine and an article, “Wildest Dreams,”  by Sarah Schwelling in the August issue of  Paste Magazine.

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